Friday, May 25, 2012



I see you in the eyes of the rain
and in the broken aspirations of the swallow
that hit the windowpane dead on.
Fire that no longer burns.
Water that no longer drowns.
Earth that no longer receives.
A gust of air that no one breathes.

I see you in the tender, green tendrils
of the wild grapevines clinging to life
like the last plank of a shipwrecked lifeboat
washed up on the shore of the moon.
The most bitter farewells are those
compelled by understanding
to cry a little in the open doorway
and leave as if there were nothing more to say.

Words lightyears beyond communication.
Metaphors like burning bridges
that never quite make it to the other side.
And o how gentle an eclipse comes
to a lover’s coltish eyes
when it’s time to say good-bye
and if you’re a bad man, it’s revenge,
and if you’re good, it’s a sacrifice.

Good-bye, get out, be gone,
I’ll live on in my palace of lonely windows
like a man with class in an hourglass
and I’ll write faceless songs
to the passage of time as autumn approaches.

Leave me now to the pain
I must wrestle with alone
like an angel in my way
that knows I don’t have what it takes
to pull up stakes like a heretic
before I burn for the mistakes I made
on your invigilated test of love.

Once I feel like a loser again
I know I’m at home with myself
and I can feel the clouds laughing in tears
as I get around like rain.
I loved your body like a wishing well.
You loved my brain like an occult spell.

Three afterlives of a star, once you left me
holding the medicine bag of your absence,
I named a desolate street after you
like some kind of municipal gift
to the run down ghetto of a sub-prime heart.

My pain is consoled by my art
like a weather vane is comforted by the weather.
I ghost write the lyrics of the storm.
I incite riots against the norm.
I blood my poems like spearheads
in a wound that never scars the moon.

I shall be the nightwatchman
who makes the rounds of the zodiac
inspecting doors and windows
that are steadfastly closed to him
like lilies in the festering gene pools
of the idle rich in their bridal tents
spawning into money like goldfish.

I shall be an eagle at the extremity
of my wingspan and soar over the smoke
of burning cities like a cinder of freedom
in the eye of a failed revolution
and I will not lament my own extinction
when my starmud settles like a constellation
into the hearsay of bloodshot mirrors.

I will linger in precipitous heights
then shriek like the paper airplane of a poem
down on some bumptious homing pigeon
that was promised a comfortable flight
from here to there, until it was
snatched from the air like a pillow fight.

I will do this because I can feel the glee
of my talons sinking into hypocrisy
like the three crescents of the moon
with an eyrie full of skeletal snakes
that look like a pit full of twisted combs
without any meat on their bones.

Liars convince. Communicators convey.
It isn’t what I say. It’s the way I say it
that makes all the difference to the meaning
that tones me like a moody chameleon
resonating with a tuning fork of colour
that flickers like a photo-op of lightning
trying to get a glimpse of itself in the mirror.

And then I’m an illiterate divinity student
with a heart as big as an orphanage
full of baffled pilgrims that have lost their way
crutching through the labyrinths of the divine
on a cross that walks them to the end of the line
like the rapture of an apocalyptic anti-climax.

I talk to God about you and she talks back
like a comprehensive alibi for the way things are.
She’s got a scar as big as the smile
on the dark side of her face she keeps
turned away from me like an embarassed moon
she doesn’t want to reveal to anyone.
But I can see it in the rear view mirror
of my infernal lucidity leading me away from her
like an atomic Sufi reversing my spin
in the charged particle field of my happy sin.

I walk on the wild side in cowboy boots
in a truce with the shadows of Zen
that says a great general may establish peace
but that doesn’t mean he gets to enjoy it.
And I’m resigned to the sternness of my discipline
like salt to the earth, like a sail to the wind,
like a ferocious heart to a gentle mind.




And it shall no more be given to me
than it is to another to understand you if I could
or you, for that matter, shining above the dark wood
as if it didn’t matter where your light fell or upon whom.

And who could not say your aloofness was not a right?
But there’s nothing more ridiculous than a spurned heart.
I was a flower for a moment, now I’m a red toadstool
spinning around as I did as a kid with nothing to do
but endure a long, hot afternoon on my own
in a nineteen fifties restaurant with a broken jukebox
and where there was a prayer rug rumoured to fly
now there’s just blind linoleum and a repetitive lie
I repeat like a mantra to keep the obvious away.

There is within me, who knows where it came from,
a laboratory of largess that’s always working overtime
to cure what ails love in myself and others.
As if we were the devoted apostates of an estranged emotion
that didn’t quite know what to do with our devotion.
You can try to drink an ocean in a single gulp
to keep your mirage from evaporating in the desert,
but you’ll only end up just as thirsty and hallucinatory
as you were before, as the goats try to avoid the scorpions.
Or you can pretend you don’t care, and wear
sandpaper for skin, and be as callous to your heart
as you are a can you’re kicking down the road
so you don’t get hurt trying to heal again.
Each votive candle of a woman who lit up for you,
an exotic reference to a different fragrance of pain
so they’re always the orchid in the shadows of cool moonlight
and you’re always a bouquet of dandelions in a funeral home.

Of late, I’ve been trying to chip the coral away
from a lot of sunken masts I used to tie myself to
just to listen deliriously to the sirens on the rocks.
I revelled in the mystery of their wounded music
but my lifeboat always seemed to splinter
like a Spanish guitar on the head of my gravestone.
Flashbacks of your lives and loves, those soft razors
can be harder sometimes than a school of hard knocks.

Cynic, or sucker alike, neither bask in diamonds
and whether you take it like a man or a star-nosed mole
everybody bleeds like a rose on a ladder of thorns.
Love is the colour of life, tender, garish, or obscene,
not some variant of green camouflage, or logo red,
not some bituminous conversion to Mars black,
not like any rainbow you’ve ever seen, not
an albino chameleon, but more vivid than the eyes
are able to see, like the bee paths on certain wildflowers.
And though I might be underwhelmed by how
drab and vapid it seems these days, I remember gold,
I remember silver, I remember the poppies imploding
like red giants and scarlet nebula in the starfields
and I still adorn love like Corona Borealis with Celtic gems.

And though my dragons are masters of myriad stratagems
I never try to impress a woman by forging swords like words
in the dynastic fires of my mouth but diversify
my volcanic energies into making habitable islands in a dream
and chandeliers of fireflies scattered all over the starmap.
I don’t turn eyes into windows in a blast furnace
or blow a lot of glass bubbles into a multiverse
of Japanese floats holding up their fishing nets
like the M-theory of the latest myth of origin.
And where it ends, is exactly where it begins
over and over and over again endlessly like the wind
raising waves on a mirror where many have drowned
in the bliss of listening to their own awareness
as if they cast a spell upon themselves they couldn’t break.